“Anatomy of a Fall”

 “Anatomy of a Fall”

By Lucas Battista

Streaming on Prime Video, starring Sandra Hüller, Swann Arlaud, Milo Machado Graner and Antoine Reinartz.

Twenty-first century Europe resides in an era where languages, cultures, and customs converge in a giant muddy soup, setting the scene for the French Alps in “Anatomy of a Fall.” Seemingly building a murder mystery, we as the audience realize very quickly how volatile, malleable, and destructive our human memories really are. As the story unravels, clear-cut facts become fickle, multiple agendas reveal themselves at play, and a certain cinematic obscurantism inks up the screen, where we struggle, by intention, to connect any pieces because they simply do not fit. The characters casually rotate between French and English, even German at points, and neither vague intuition, emotional conviction, or clutching the truth really serve to help us.

Often in stories, open-endedness is utilized so that the viewer/reader may fill in gaps, or construct conclusions that are meant to be a “projection” of our own beliefs or personal desires onto the canvas. Here, it is ingeniously twisted backwards, to illustrate just how much reality suffers from being tacked to our motive-driven brains, and how often we can manipulate it to fit our “truth,” much like the police, lawyers, and forensic-scientists who play with and devise new angles, often unwittingly.

Both Sandra Hüller and Milo Machado Graner’s performances are subtle but powerful, especially under a hyper-focused lens we place against each of them. I highly recommend “Anatomy of a Fall”- it’s absolutely fantastic and certain to lose you in a corn-maze of pictures.

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